Liverpool have set their sights on Kristoffer Ajer as they continue their search for an ideal replacement for Dejan Lovren.
According to Celtic Underground, as relayed by Daily Star, Jurgen Klopp has asked for a new centre-back this summer, with Kristoffer Ajer being eyed as a potential option. The Celtic defender has been identified as a perfect man to bolster the club’s defence as they look to compete with Manchester City and Chelsea next season.
It is believed that Liverpool are growing desperate to sign a replacement for Dejan Lovren, who left in the club earlier this summer, in favour of a switch to Zenit St. Petersburg’s. It left Klopp with very little options at centre-back even though the Croatian had a difficult time establishing himself as a first-team regular at Anfield.
Indeed, the Reds currently have three reliable central defenders in Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, with the latter often struggling with fitness issues. Fabinho can play as a centre-back but the Brazilian is a far better option in his preferred holding midfield role.
Ajer perfectly fits into that category, having already made an impact at Celtic with his consistent performances. In fact, he has emerged as a real leader in the backline over the past couple of years, helping the Hoops maintain their dominance over Scottish football.
Having been a part of the Celtic side for four years now, Ajer has impressed the onlookers with his imposing presence at the back. Standing at 1.98m, he is indeed one of the tallest defenders in Europe and could even make van Dijk look feeble in front of him.
Aside from his terrifying presence, the Norweigian international is an able ball-playing centre-back, which should be useful as Liverpool can always welcome the addition of more technical prowess among their defenders. And Ajer, in that regard, is a combination of physicality and technique – making him a tailor-made fit for Klopp.
The Reds, however, are looking at other alternatives as well, including Brighton & Hove Albion’s in-demand centre-back Ben White. The ex-Leeds United star could be an expensive though, with the Seagulls valuing him at a £50 million.
Although the report does not mention any particular valuation for Ajer, the Norwegian is highly unlikely to cross the £30 million mark given the fact that he is yet to prove his quality in any of Europe’s five leagues. And with that in mind, it will be interesting to see whether or not Klopp does take the gamble of singing Ajer this summer.